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Lawmaker pushes to remove teachers’ non-teaching responsibilities

Lawmaker pushes to remove teachers’ non-teaching responsibilities

A lawmaker filed a bill to remove non-teaching responsibilities from teachers, so they can focus on their responsibilities to teach instead of dealing with other things in school.

Bohol 3rd District Representative Kristine Alexie Tutor filed House Bill 4232, otherwise known as the “School Health and Safety Act”.

The measure aims to “remove non-teaching responsibilities of teachers and faculty members in all public schools”.

Through the regulations imposed by the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), teachers have long been placed as in charge of their school’s guidance office or health facility such as the clinic, even if they don’t have a medical background, Rep. Tutor explained.

Tutor believes that government should establish School Health and Safety Offices (SHSO) in every public school, government universities and colleges.

To ensure that teachers can focus on teaching, the SHSO should be manned by qualified, licensed and certified personnel.

“The SHSO is envisioned to be potent front line health care delivery center strategically placed within schools to serve students, their parents, and their teachers,” Rep. Tutor explained.

Tutor explained that public school teachers and faculty of state universities and colleges are burdened by many non-teaching tasks.

“Many more health, healing and safety professionals are needed in the country’s public schools which are the battlefield frontline against threat to public health and safety,” Rep. Tutor added.

The SHSO personnel needed for each school will be determined by how many students are enrolled, Rep. Tutor further explained.

“School health, security, and safety manpower in our public schools is grossly inadequate. At the DepEd, the school nurse-to-student ratio they are following is 1:5,000 and the allocation of the school nurse items is not by school, but by school division which means by province or by city,” she added.

The schools must also have enough utility workers, plumbers, volunteer firefighters, and electricians.

“There is also the urgent need to keep illegal drugs from physically entering campuses and being used and sold to students and school personnel. Moreover, it has become necessary to strengthen preventive anti-drug abuse campaigns among students, their parents, and the teachers,” Rep. Tutor added.

The measure also calls for “enough security guards in public schools to prevent crimes and entry of illegal drugs in campuses.”